The election in Warrensburg is now history, and the campaigns, up to the last minute, had some surprising twists and turns.
First of all, it was interesting that Kevin Geraghty won his supervisor post back on a Conservative line in a staunchly Republican town. Geraghty had lost the G.O.P Primary to challenger Maynard Baker by a substantial margin.
Routinely, it's difficult in a November general election to reverse the results of a Primary because so many of the voters, particularly the elder ones, pull down all the levers on the G.O.P. line. Plus, the Conservative and independent party candidates are scattered on the page below, down near the Communist and Worker party levers - questionable company, to be sure. Such ballot placement taints a candidate, regardless if he or she is absolutely patriotic and mainstream. Many Republican candidates have tried to overcome this disadvantage after losing a Primary, but failed.
Apparently Geraghty's strength with the independent voters and Democrats helped boost his tally Tuesday.
But I also think the flak over the Baker-Rounds advertisement in the Adirondack Journal, falsely accusing DPW chief Rick Galusha of misconduct, backfired badly for Baker and Rounds.
It not only reflected poor ethical judgement by whoever placed it, but it showed a lack of political leadership. Even if Baker and Rounds didn't personally draft the ad, the public expected the two to take responsibility for it - but the two candidates indicated they weren't sure how the allegations got printed.
Next interesting twist:
Sometimes the things that almost happen are newsworthy enough to write about.
The false allegations prompted Don Bagwell to immediately get a large sign made that read: "Maynard and Bryan are Lying to You. Don't Vote for a Lie."
Bagwell was going to put the sign up at the corner of Library and James streets, near the polls at the Warrensburg Elementary School. Geraghty heard about Bagwell's plans, and asked him convincingly not to display the sign, because the sign might hurt his effort more than help it out.
"It was very important to me to take the high road," Geraghty said Wednesday. "I don't like negative campaigning, and I didn't want any of it done on behalf of me - There was no way I was going to be shrill."
However, Bagwell's truck, fire-engine red, was indeed parked there at James and Library on Election Day, but that sign Bagwell had commissioned was stuck inside the truck bed and never saw the light of day.
On the other hand, his truck did bear the lettering: "Don't Let this Town Go Backwards, Re-Elect Kevin Geraghty." Observers said this sign on his truck, being so close to the polls, may have prompted a few votes against Geraghty, however.
Another thing that may not be generally known: John Alexander had pledged to leave office if Baker was elected.
Alexander said Wednesday he had drafted a letter of resignation that he would have presented to the board if the election tally had been only a little different.
"I wasn't bluffing," Alexander said.
Alexander said he was irked about how Baker might steer the town away from long-term planning.
Baker, of course, for decades has been a staunch advocate of property owners' rights, and decades ago, he campaigned against local planning and zoning when it was first introduced. Planning on a regional level, of course has been chiefly in the hands of the Adirondack Park Agency, which has throttled economic development - and Baker has fought for years against the APA, since the early1980s when he formed the Adirondack Freedom Fighters to curb the encroachment of the APA on property rights and individual freedoms.
Baker's fight has won him strong support through the years. Alexander recognizes that Baker's a political icon in the region, but he has followed a more moderate approach, believing that planning protects quality of life here.
Of course, there's another source of conflict between Baker and Alexander - they are competitors in the funeral business, and it's a tough time for all who are in this particular enterprise.
Anyway, stay tuned.
Town board meetings are likely to be lively now, as Rounds was elected to the board and he joins the "rebel" faction on the board, which as of Jan. 1 has a 3-2 majority.
It will be interesting to witness the outcome, month after month, of this new alignment on the Warrensburg Town Board.
Thom Randall is editor of The Adirondack Journal. He can be reached Thom@denpubs.com.